6th Choral Conducting Seminar and Masterclass


In the frame of 41st International Choral Festival of Preveza masterclass for choral conductors will be held from July 1st – 4th.

Mentors will be internationally recognised conductors Ragnar Rasmussen and Urša Lah.


The topics of the masterclass are:

  • - conducting technique with an emphasis on choral conducting,
  • - interpretation of various musical style,
  • - group vocal technique, vocal training,
  • - intonation in the choir…v


A lot of time and attention will be dedicated to practical work with choir; the demonstrative ensemble will be international Utopia & Reality Chamber Choir.

The masterclass is addressed to conductors on different levels who would wish to improve their skills. Mentors will focus on individual progress and will adjust the literature to the level of participants.


Participation can be active or passive. Participants who wish to be active are kindly asked to send their CV with specified experiences in choir conducting.


The schedule for the masterclass for choral conductors:

Saturday, July 1st


  • Arrival of the participants


  • 16:00 – 20:00 Introduction,

               Lectures with practical work: Vocal conducting for active and passive participants



Sunday, July 2nd


  • 10:00 – 13:00 Masterclass with demonstrative ensemble (active participants are conducting, passive are observing)


  • 15:00 – 17:00 Lectures with practical work: Conducting technique (active and passive participants)


  • 17:00 – 17:15 Break


  • 17:15 – 20:00 Masterclass with demonstrative ensemble (active participants are conducting, passive are observing)



Monday, July 3rd  


  • 10:00 – 13:00 Masterclass with demonstrative ensemble (active participants are conducting, passive are observing)


  • 15:00 – 18:00 Masterclass with demonstrative ensemble (active participants are conducting, passive are observing)


  • 18:00 – 20:00 Meeting/consultations, individual work with active participants



Tuesday, July 4th  


  • 9:00 – 11:00 Lectures with practical work: Group vocal technique, methodics for active and passive participants


  • 11:00 – 13:00 Masterclass with demonstrative ensemble (active participants are conducting, passive are observing)


  • 17:00 General rehearsal


  • 20:00 Concert conducted by active participants


The program for the seminar will consists of the following works:

Clauteverdi: Zefiro torna

Edward Elgar: My love dwelt in a Northern land

Anton Bruckner: Os justi

Hugo Wolf: Ergebung

Sergej Rachmaninov: Bogorodice Devo

Francis Poulenc:  Quatre motets pour le temps de Noel

Alfred Schnittke: Three sacred songs

                  Bogorodice Devo

                  Gospodi Isuse

                  Otče naš

Knut Nystedt: I will greatly rejoice

Knut Nystedt: Peace I leave with you

Orbán György: Psalmus 126

Ambrož Čopi: Preparate corda vestra

Damijan Močnik: Verbum supernum prodiens

Z. Randall Stroope: The Conversion of Saul

James MacMillan: Data est mihi omnes potestas

James MacMillan: O Radiant Dawn

Edmund Rubbra: There is a Spirit


Ragnar Rasmussen



is conductor, university professor and composer, situated at NTNU - The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Trondheim, Norway).

He was born and raised in the north-east region of Norway, surrounded with many cultural traditions of indigenous people and other peoples of the Arctic. This fact has heavily influenced his music-making, both as performer and composer.

He is on regular basis visiting academies, choirs and orchestras all over the world as guest conductor, such as BBC Singers, The Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra and choir, Turkish State Choir and many others.

Rasmussen is currently artistic leader of Nidaros Vokalensemble, and the international Utopia & Reality Chamber Choir (which he share with Urša Lah).


Urša Lah studied Choral Conducting in Slovenia and in Norway.


With Slovene choirs she led: MeMPZ Veter, APZ Tone Tomšič UL and the National Radio Chamber Choir, she has been involved in many première performances, and won many first prizes, golden plaques, special prizes and conducting awards at national and international choral competitions, including the final for Grand Prix of Europe (Debrecen, 2008). She received the highest award of the Municipality of Ljubljana for cultural achievement and the award of Public Fund of the Republic of Slovenia for Cultural Activities.

Since autumn 2009 Urša lives in Norway. She taught conducting at the universities in Tromsø and Trondheim (Associate professor), she was the artistic leader/conductor of Finnmark Operakor and University Choir Mimas, she worked as a choir master for Artic Philharmonic and Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra.

Currently she conducts Trondheim Symphonic Opera Choir and is employed as a choir master for Trondheim Symphony Orchestra.

She gives seminars for choral conductors, is a frequent member of adjudicating panels at international choral and conducting competitions, a guest conductor of professional choirs/ensembles and one of two artistic leaders of the international Utopia&Reality Chamber Choir.


Utopia&Reality Chamber Choir

Utopia & Reality Chamber Choir is an international choir established in 2011 by two conductors, Ragnar Rasmussen (Norway) and Urša Lah (Slovenia). They have joined talented young singers from different countries in performing contemporary choral music. The aim of the project is to perform on a high artistic level, to encourage singers to think about the role of art in the society today, to explore different ways of affecting audiences, to develop young singers through establishing a strong role of the individual in the group and to raise up a sense of tolerance towards different nations through learning about their singing traditions.

The choir isaptlynamed"Utopia&Reality" - two,at first glanceincredibly distantideasbecome interdependentthroughcreativeactivity and through thehumantendencyto change;things thatseemedunimaginablebecometrue.

The project has turned out as a success and Utopia&Reality has (as an invited choir or as “Artist in Residence”) memorable performed at the numerous festivals, among them Nordlysfestivalen in Tromsø, Olavsfestdagene in Trondheim, Norway, The 12. China International Choral Festival in Beijing (where the choir was representing Europe), The City of Derry International Choral Festival, Northern Ireland, International Choral Festival in Preveza, Greece… In 2017 the choir was invited to perform a whole evening concert in Mariinsky Theathre in St. Petersburg and in 2019 it served as demonstrative ensemble for the World Choral Conducting Competition in Hong Kong in all three rounds.

In 2023, choir consists of singers coming from Slovenia, Norway, Italy, France, Ireland, Croatia, Sweden and Finland.